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Elevated plasma levels of the sulfur-containing amino acid homocysteine increase the risk for atherosclerosis, stroke, and possibly Alzheimer's disease, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We now report that homocysteine induces apoptosis in rat hippocampal neurons. DNA strand breaks and associated activation of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and(More)
Many cases of early-onset inherited Alzheimer's disease (AD) are caused by mutations in the presenilin-1 (PS1) gene. PS1 mutations may perturb cellular Ca(2+) homeostasis and thereby render neurons vulnerable to excitotoxicity and apoptosis. We now report that PC12 cells expressing PS1 mutations and primary hippocampal neurons from PS1 mutant knockin mice(More)
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multifaceted organelle that regulates protein synthesis and trafficking, cellular responses to stress, and intracellular Ca2+ levels. In neurons, it is distributed between the cellular compartments that regulate plasticity and survival, which include axons, dendrites, growth cones and synaptic terminals. Intriguing(More)
Neurons are an unusual type of cell in that they send processes (axons and dendrites) over great distances. This elaborate morphology, together with their excitability, places neurons at risk for multiple insults. Recent studies have demonstrated that apoptotic and excitotoxic mechanisms not only contribute to neuronal death, but also to synaptic(More)
The tumor suppressor protein p53 is essential for neuronal death in several experimental settings and may participate in human neurodegenerative disorders. Based upon recent studies characterizing chemical inhibitors of p53 in preclinical studies in the cancer therapy field, we synthesized the compound pifithrin-alpha and evaluated its potential(More)
Food restriction can extend life span in rodents and was recently reported to increase the resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic and metabolic insults. In principle, administration to ad libitum fed rodents of an agent that reduces glucose availability to cells should mimick certain aspects of food restriction. We now report that administration(More)
Apolipoprotein E (apoE)-related synthetic peptides, the 22 kDa N-terminal thrombin-cleavage fragment of apoE (truncated apoE), and full-length apoE have all been shown to exhibit neurotoxic activity under certain culture conditions. In the present study, protease inhibitors reduced the neurotoxicity and proteolysis of full-length apoE but did not block the(More)
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by amyloid beta-peptide deposition, synapse loss, and neuronal death, which are correlated with cognitive impairments. Mutations in the presenilin-1 gene on chromosome 14 are causally linked to many cases of early-onset inherited Alzheimer's disease. We report that synaptosomes prepared from transgenic mice harboring(More)
An unexpected increase in positive sputum cultures of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) was noted in Hong Kong in 1990 compared to previous years, in contrast to a steady decline in the number of positive cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A retrospective case note study was therefore undertaken to ascertain the clinical importance of the rise in NTM(More)
Chest radiographs and spirometric tests were performed on 81 patients who had silicosis from two granite quarries in 1975, 73 of whom were followed up for two to 10 (mean 7.2) years. Each patient's initial and most recent chest radiographs were assessed independently by three experienced readers, and the yearly declines in forced expiratory volume in one(More)